This project is one of my absolute favorites. I made it last year–it’s a DIY cat condo made out of Ikea tables, sisal rope, and faux fur fabric. (You can see the full tutorial here!) I’m so happy that so many people have viewed the tutorial. I hope someone out there has a happy kitty now!
Unfortunately, the pretty little condo below has since made it through two moves, and it was fairly beaten up by the movers each time. The first move, the movers lost the bottom faux fur piece, broke the top piece off of the bottom piece, and chipped the paint on all of the legs. I was PISSED! When we moved again two months later, a different moving company chipped the paint a bit more, and Blanche had scratched the bottom scratching post so much that she was ripping the sisal off (glad that’s not our couch). Needless to say, the condo was in need of a makeover. I also wanted to give it a more appropriate color for our living room; it’s sitting right at the cats’ preferred dog-watching window in our main room, and lilac doesn’t really go with our more neutral furniture. This tutorial also provide additional tips for attaching the sisal rope to the legs using glue, not permanent staples.
Here’s what I used for the makeover…
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- Sand paper in multiple different grits ranging from 100 to 220
- Gorilla Glue
- Rust-Oleum spray paint in Claret Wine
- 1/2 of a yard of the faux fur fabric (browse fun cuts here)
- Staple gun
…and here’s how I did it!
(Remember to wear a mask and eye protection while sanding, and wear a mask while working with paints and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand.)
Step 1: I screwed the legs off of the base table and top table. Five of those legs are below. Notice the chipping and the sisal rope that Blanche had scratched right off (she is a BIG scratcher). Then I ripped the scratching pad off of the base table. If you check out the original tutorial, you’ll see that this scratching pad is actually one of those door knob scratchers. They never used it, so I repurposed it for this project.
Step 2: I sanded the paint off of all six legs (two of the legs are completely wrapped in sisal rope, so I didn’t re-finish those). I actually sanded them by hand. I started off using an electric sander, but it was wayyyyy too powerful for these little legs. A 100 grit chipped off pretty easily.
Then I used a 220 grit to polish it up. I did not sand the paint off of the base table’s top. It wasn’t chipped, so I thought I could get an even-enough coat of spray paint over it without the extra work.
Step 3: I did about three coats of spray paint on each leg and four coats on the base’s table top (below). I didn’t bother cleaning up the glue mess from the door knob scratcher because I knew I’d be gluing it right back on when the paint dried. (Btw, thanks for the sheet, mom! Sorry you have to find out this way.)
Step 4: After I’d painted everything, I twisted all of the legs back on and re-attached the top table to the base table using Gorilla Glue. Remember, this glue expands as it dries and bonds, so don’t use too much, or else it will start oozing out.
Next I re-wrapped the sisal rope on the leg that Blanche had torn up. I’m going to describe a different method for adhering the sisal. It uses Gorilla Glue and non-permanent staples. First, I attached the end of the sisal rope to the back of the leg with my staple gun.
Then I applied glue down the back of the leg (below, first photo) and the front of the leg (below, second photo). I wrapped the sisal around the leg tightly and added another staple when I’d wrapped about half of the sisal. Every so often, I scrunched the sisal up tightly around the leg (below, fourth photo).
I added a final staple at the end of the sisal piece.
Step 5: When the glue dried completely, I pulled the staples out using pliers. Since I stapled them loosely, this was very easy. (On the previous version of this cat tree, I left the staples in, but I made sure to staple on the side that faced the wall so that the cats’ claws wouldn’t get caught. This is an even better solution.)
After removing the staples, I cut a piece of faux fur fabric that matched the top (I was so lucky to find the same fabric at Jo-Ann!) and glued it on the base table’s top. And it’s done!
(and this picture was milliseconds before Henry ambushed Blanche, typical.)
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